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December 01, 2006

Another Film Set for Zambia

BY JABBES MVULA, USA - Yezi-Arts Promotions and Productions, a Zambian independent production house is set to produce a ninety minutes film with a working title, “Nkhondo Ya Mkwezalamba, (War of Sacrifice). This is a feature film based on the documentation of human experiences dramatically presented on Zambia’s contribution to the liberation struggles in Southern Africa.

Zambia’s involvements in the wars of southern Africa have had serious political, social and economic implications even today. It was home to many liberation movements, who later formed new governments in the sub-region after dismantling the colonial masters in their respective nations. Self rule dawned in Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa, with the assistance of this country. In the words of Winnie Mandela: "Zambia was the midwife of the struggle in the region, and South Africa was the last child it assisted in freeing from colonialism and imperialism but this was with a great human, economic and social costs”.

The story is revealed in a dramatic way in contemporary Zambia: ‘Musada a former soldier, now a mental patient, was part of the defense forces during the liberation struggles. He suffered torture and witnessed the waste atrocities inflicted on the innocent villagers during the incursions by rebel soldiers. His mind is lost when he sees crater where his parent’s house once stood, and he ends up on the streets as a vagabond. Picked for a psychoanalysis treatment at one of the mental hospitals, reveals a lot what Zambia had to pass through during the war, highlighting frontline reconstructions with enemy forces; reflecting the answered questions on whether the war was justified or not and ultimately post-war seeking answers on whether Zambia paid the price in vain. Kondwa, his doctor, the psychiatrist, occurs to be one of the internally displaced persons who was served by Musada at one of the villages during a rebel incursion’.

Besides the theatrical movie, Yezi Arts will also produce a documentary which will be more than factual with interesting information that has come their way in this project. There is a lot that happened during this important era in our history, which many of our people are not aware of. Even the basics around who was Maina Soko – what role did she play? And, how did we lose her innocent life? In short, it is shocking that this important era, sometimes less than the cost of the fight for independence, is not part of our political history being taught in schools. In fact, research establishes that most of our citizens below the ages of 35 least know anything about our involvement in the struggle. And, this is not only limited to Zambia, it transcends even in the same countries that have since been liberated.

According to the producers, the film is expected to be produced within a period of six months commencing this coming year. Auditions for the film are expected in early December, followed by training of the different artists who will take up respective roles in the enactment.

“All logistics in place, this film should be available to the public within an optimistic period of six months. It has a budget of close to K270million, and we can safely say we have commitments of approximately K100million. So far we have spent over K40million in the research and part of the pre-production phase. Now we have decided to go public also with the hope that interested individuals, business houses and government may find a way of partnering with us. We hope Zambians can rise to the challenge and assist us in telling this story for posterity’s sake. We are a country and we have a history, and this history needs to be documented and disseminated to the current and future generations."

September 08, 2006

Production Crew Slideshow

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August 01, 2006

Film Zambia Crew

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June 24, 2006

Who We Are

BY THE AFRICAN VOICE DOCUMENTARY FILM CREW, MESA, AZ, USA - The last week, we worked on a short video to give people a sense of who we are and why we're doing what we're doing. Three of the editors put together versions of varying length.

WhoWeAreSm.jpg SHAWN DOWNS put together the Who We Are in Two Minutes movie. Shawn recently graduated from Arcadia High School and will be going to the LA Film School upon his return from Zambia. Shawn is an excellent cinematographer, gaffer and all-round crew member. Shawn had a short film in the PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL 2006. I'd count on seeing great things from him in the future.

WhoWeAreMed.jpg LINDSEY BLACK crafted the Who We Are in Five Minutes. Lindsey graduated from Mesa Community College. She has made numerous short films and is looking to build a career in the independent film industry. Lindsey enjoys acting, editing and producing. Already a Sundance veteran, Lindsey is looking forward the 2007 festival. She learned a great deal about networking at the last festival from actor, Adam Scarimbolo.

WhoWeAreLong.jpg MICHAEL MONTESA completed the Who We Are in 17 Minutes. Another Sundance veteran with a commitment to work in the independent film world, Mike is a respiratory therapist by vocation and photographer/cinematographer by avocation. Mike has won several awards at the annual Mesa Community College Art Show. In addition to being a great on-set photographer, Mike loves designing movie poster and DVD case covers. His designs are terrific.

June 02, 2006

GOD WILL GIVE YOU A FAMILY - MUM

Thoko.jpgBY JABBES MVULA - Two SUV's and a van were parked outside the gate waiting to take me and my family to the airport where I was to board the aircraft that would take me to the United States of America. The time was about 14:00 hours Zambian time on 02 January 2005 and my flight was at about 16:00 hours. There was one SUV belonging to Dr. Edgar Ngoma that I was to ride in together with my brothers. Then there was another SUV belonging to another very very dear friend of mine Paradious Sakala that was to carry my sisters, and then there was a courtesy bus belonging to The Kraal Resort owned by Dr. Ngoma, that was to carry my Mother and all her grandchildren. We call our mum the QUEEN. My friends, Dr. Ngoma and Paradious gave me a VIP escort to the airport.

We all gathered in the house as a family so that I could say my farewell words to my family and for Mum to give me her blessings. Gladys our last born led the family into singing some gospel songs. She and Monica, both my sisters are members in a choir. Judith my daughter is a Director of a children's choir. After the singing, Mum and my younger brother David led the family into prayers. They both prayed for my blessings, then after the prayers, Mum and David gave me their blessings on behalf of the family. This is what they said; "You leave your family behind, but remember to pray, and God will give you a family whereever you go. Respect everyone and live like a coward coz a coward runs away from trouble and lives a long life. Be careful with girls because Samson in the Bible was betrayed by a woman he loved - Delilah." And we took off for the airport in a convoy.

Since I came to the United States, I have had friends who have treated me like their own brother. I will mention my country folks like Samuel Sakala, Peter Mubanga, Mzenje Banda, Frackson Sakala who took good care of me when I just arrived. Let me also mention American people like Capt Lynn Bray who treated me like his own son when I worked under his department at MCC College Safety. I will always be grateful to this man. I worked with very good guys, and a great boss, Steve Corich, he stood by me when one Instructor called me a "jacka*s" for citing his car when he had parked on a fire lane. Steve Corich wrote a very strong letter in support of me until the instructor came to apologize. Among the juniors, I will single out Tyrone Rollins and LeeAnn Tinney, they greatly encouraged me when I was still burning with my dream to make a movie. Everytime we talked about my film ideas, and they always encouraged me. My pockets were always stuffed with pieces of paper where I used to write my ideas as I went along with my daily duties. I would never forget Veronica Padilla who gave me her camcoder to use on one of my school productions. Everyone supported me.

Later on I came to meet friends like Richard Watson who have been following this film project each and every step, going out of their way to support me in any way. Richard even got me a couple of the Mesa Triburne Newspaper for me to send back home to my family.

Saturday 27th May, Cyndi held a party at her home. Before the party, I had three calls, from Cyndi, Mike and Jeniece, all of them just making sure that I had transport to and from the party. Wednesday 31st June was one of those terrible days when I received bad news and I was devastated. When I called Cyndi, she was in a meeting, but just from the tone of my voice, she immediately came over home to talk to me. We talked and went out for a drive. A problem shared is a problem halved. She has never been a Mum to me like she was this time. By the time I talked to my Mum on the phone today, my heart was already at peace. I remembered the words Queen gave me, "God will give you a family." Today I was reading a letter from Margaret in Chippewa Falls, I felt so humbled with the love she just extended to me.

After talking to my Mum all the way from Zambia, I started re-collecting all these, and I realized that God has given me a family bigger and stronger than the family I left at home. THANK YOU THANK YOU AND THANK YOU GUYS.